Jeremy Shipp brings you THE ATROCITIES, a haunting gothic fantasy of a young ghost's education
When Isabella died, her parents were determined to ensure her education wouldn't suffer.
But Isabella's parents had not informed her new governess of Isabella's... condition, and when Ms Valdez arrives at the estate, having forced herself through a surreal nightmare maze of twisted human-like statues, she discovers that there is no girl to tutor.
Or is there...?
At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
A governess finds herself at the mercy of a strange house and its odd inhabitants in Stoker finalist Shipp's contemporary fever dream, within which beats a gothic heart. Danna Valdez arrives at the imposing Stockton House expecting to teach Mr. and Mrs. Evers's young daughter, Isabella. Mrs. Evers explains that Isabella has died, but her spirit remains. Danna is skeptical, but the pain of her own recent tragedy makes her hesitant to leave, as does Mrs. Evers's increasingly erratic behavior. Is there really a ghost? Did Isabella ever exist? Shipp (Cursed) uses a very strange house, full of nightmarish paintings and statuary, to explore the vast, haunted spaces between life and death, showcasing a gift for horrific imagery: "The sculpture depicts a maelstrom of elongated limbs and hairless faces. In my imagination, the whirlpool of flesh swirls around a murky vortex. The lipless mouths open wider, wider." Told in Danna's haunting voice, this beautifully executed tale, as twisted as the hedge maze she braves to reach Stockton House, will surely linger with readers.
It was a weird but entertaining read. I felt like it had a mix between Mexican gothic & Alice and wonderland, in a short story that pulls you right in because it is strange from the beginning.